Recently, during THC’s morning constitutional, we ran out of toilet paper. We reached for our trusted #2 material for dealing with #2, and coincidentally happened to look down and actually read something in the North Coast Journal. It was some stupid article about smell that emanates from the Eureka waterfront or whatever. And, of course, the NCJ got it all wrong. It’s not from the seafood operations.
Nope – it’s coming from the operator of Coast Seafoods, none other than our very own 2nd District Harbor Commissioner Greg Dale. And it’s about damn time that Humboldt, collectively as a County, asked Greg Dale to step down as Harbor Commissioner to save himself from the embarrassment of being outed as a massive, interest-conflicted case of epic Humboldt political proportions.
Greg Dale, as both the operations manager at Coast Seafoods and the Harbor Commission, is in direct violation of literally every California law we’ve been able to find that relates to conflict of interest. And believe us, we’ve found a lot – both from our own research and the tasty tidbits of legal code pointed out to us by over 25 readers (no joke, lots of people wrote in to let us know how upset they were about Dale’s position on the Harbor Commission).
Essentially, Government Code Section 1090 prohibits any public official from being financially interested in a contract or a sale arising from or in his or her private and public capacities. Check it out in its entirety here. To top that off (since Greg Dale and his Harbor/Coast Seafoods cronies would likely try to claim an exemption from their conflict of interest because he has only a “remote interest), Government Code Section 1091 (b)(3) states that an official can’t hold a primary management position with the contracting party.
Which Greg Dale does. Which means that the deal that was recently re-approved by the Harbor Commission runs the risk of being voided because of Dale’s involvement with both parties. You know that whole “government officials shouldn’t benefit from the deals they strike between private organizations they manage and the public institutions they represent” course that most of us took in way back in Government Ethics 101: Common F***ing Sense?
Yeah, well, apparently Greg Dale missed that day of school. As did the rest of the Harbor Commission. (Did we mention that one of those shady/stupid idiots is running for a Supervisor seat next year? Hi, Mr. Mike Wilson! We’re talking about you!)
So too was the legal counsel for both the Harbor Commission and Coast Seafoods, because the worst-case scenario result of all this is that Dale gets publicly disgraced and that Coast Seafoods loses its contract with the Harbor Commission. Yep, Coast Seafoods, that company that supplies oysters to, like, everywhere.
Oh yeah – and a shit ton of jobs. You’d think that whoever does all the lawyer-ing over at Coast would have told Greg that maybe being on the Harbor Commission was a bit of a problem for the economic viability of the company. Likewise, Mr. (or Mrs.) Harbor Lawyer maybe should have told the entire commission it was a threat to the economic viability of the entire frickin’ county.
Anyway, how cool is it that we have Harbor Commissioner who has – whether through an intentional plot to get money from illicit dealings, or simple ignorance – put the Harbor District in the position of potentially losing a contract that allowed them to clean up the old pulp mill site to the tune of $1.25 million? And further causing significant harm to a very valuable area employer and industry, which he also is in charge of? Yikes. Talk about a lack of foresight.
Leo Sears, whoever that frickin’ genius is, wrote to the Times-Standard about it today. And we are surprised that we haven’t heard more about it in the public sphere.
So, THC fans, here’s your homework. Take all that legal mumbo-jumbo we linked you to earlier (and did again here), print it out, and send it to Dale’s office so we can all be sure that he actually read it.
You see, if Greg just reads it and realizes he has to resign, then everything goes back to being all hunky-dory.
No Dale, no conflict, no catastrophic loss of jobs and money for the county. It’s simple.